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Poland Historical and Political Profile

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Poland Index

  • Poland-The Polish Renaissance
  • Poland-Baltic States
  • Poland-Retrenchment and Adjustment in the 1960s
  • Poland-Crime
  • Poland-International Organizations
  • Poland-The Health Care System
  • Poland-The Polish Catholic Church and the People
  • Poland-The Intelligentsia
  • Poland-Forestry
  • Poland-Toward the Round-Table Talks
  • Poland-Ethnic Groups
  • Poland-Narcotics
  • Poland-The Napoleonic Period
  • Poland-Radio and Television
  • Poland-Church and State after 1989
  • Poland-Interwar Poland
  • Poland-Transportation and Communications
  • Poland-Presidency
  • Poland-Macroeconomic Indicators for 1990-91
  • Poland-Evolution and Restructuring
  • Poland-Alcoholism
  • Poland-Impact on Productivity and Wages
  • Poland-Agricultural Imbalances
  • Poland-Liberal-Democratic Congress
  • Poland-Soviet Liberation of Poland
  • Poland-Judicial System
  • Poland-Price Increases
  • Poland-Integration into European Civilization
  • Poland-Peasant Alliance
  • Poland-Long-Term Requirements
  • Poland-Statistical Distortions
  • Poland-Officer Education
  • Poland-EDUCATION
  • Poland-Conscript Training
  • Poland-Senate
  • Poland-The National Judicial Council
  • Poland-Social and Political Transformation
  • Poland-The Era of National Insurrections
  • Poland-Under Communism
  • Poland-The Pawlak Interlude
  • Poland-Threat Perception
  • Poland-Initial Results
  • Poland-GEOGRAPHY
  • Poland-The United States
  • Poland-Regional and Local Government
  • Poland-Causes of Decline
  • Poland-Gypsies
  • Poland-Chronology of Important Events
  • Poland-Foreign Investment
  • Poland-Sejm
  • Poland-Civilian Command Structure
  • Poland-The Olszewski Government
  • Poland-Postcommunist Policy Adjustments
  • Poland-Banking and Finance
  • Poland-Military Command Structure
  • Poland-Chapter 3 - The Economy
  • Poland-Industrial Workers
  • Poland-The Parliamentary Elections of October 1991
  • Poland-The Gathering Crisis of People's Poland, 1956-80
  • Poland-Armed Services
  • Poland-Construction Machinery
  • Poland-Eras of Repression
  • Poland-The Mazowiecki Government
  • Poland-Poland-Lithuania as a European Power
  • Poland-Air and Air Defense Forces
  • Poland-Organization under State Planning
  • Poland-Fishing and Forestry
  • Poland-World War I
  • Poland-Military Training and Education
  • Poland-The Time of "Organic Work"
  • Poland-Communist Housing Policy
  • Poland-Foreword
  • Poland-Chapter 2 - The Society and Its Environment
  • Poland-Polish Peasant Party
  • Poland-Military Doctrine
  • Poland-THE JAGIELLON ERA, 1385-1572
  • Poland-Insurance and Securities Reform
  • Poland-Poland's International Situation
  • Poland-SOCIETY
  • Poland-The Supreme Court
  • Poland-RELIGION
  • Poland-Arms Exports
  • Poland-Structural Change
  • Poland-Recovery of Statehood
  • Poland-Structure of the Education System
  • Poland-Languages
  • Poland-Establishing the Planning Formula
  • Poland-The Working Classes
  • Poland-Postwar Consolidation
  • Poland-Reliance on Technology in the 1970s
  • Poland-The Gomulka Years
  • Poland-The End of the Soviet Era
  • Poland-The Shock Strategy
  • Poland-Foreign Loans and Money Supply
  • Poland-Shipbuilding
  • Poland-Supreme Control Chamber
  • Poland-Arms Imports
  • Poland-The Early Communist Decades
  • Poland-Constitutional Revisions after April 1989
  • Poland-The Commissioner for Citizens' Rights
  • Poland-Social Relationships
  • Poland-Poland at an Impasse
  • Poland-Government Environmental Policy
  • Poland-Christian National Union
  • Poland-From Democracy to Totalitarianism
  • Poland-Power Generation
  • Poland-Other Former Soviet Republics
  • Poland-Formative Years, 1918-21
  • Poland-The Jaruzelski Interlude
  • Poland-The Medieval Era
  • Poland-AIDS
  • Poland-The Role of Currency Exchange
  • Poland-World War II
  • Poland-National Security Agencies
  • Poland-Navy
  • Poland-Lines of Authority
  • Poland-Light Industry
  • Poland-Militia Forces
  • Poland-Belarus
  • Poland-Reserves and Mobilization
  • Poland-Polish Housing in Practice
  • Poland-The Polish-Lithuanian Union
  • Poland-Consolidation of the Opposition in the 1970s
  • Poland-The End of Press Censorship
  • Poland-The Three Partitions, 1764-95
  • Poland-The Communist Tradition
  • Poland-The Old Catholic Churches
  • Poland-Banking Reform, 1990-92
  • Poland-Chapter 1 - Historical Setting
  • Poland-The Privatization Process
  • Poland-Jews
  • Poland-The Welfare System
  • Poland-Chapter 5 - National Security
  • Poland-Party of Christian Democrats
  • Poland-Population Growth and Structure
  • Poland-Soviet Union and Russia
  • Poland-War and the Polish Lands
  • Poland-Ukraine
  • Poland-Ukrainians and Belarusians
  • Poland-Labor Force
  • Poland-The Drive for Education Reform
  • Poland-Defining the Military's Postwar Role
  • Poland-Health Issues
  • Poland-Fuels and Energy
  • Poland-The Foreign Trade Mechanism
  • Poland-The Suchocka Government
  • Poland-Church and State Before 1945
  • Poland-Climate
  • Poland-Population Density and Distribution
  • Poland-Drainage
  • Poland
  • Poland-HOUSING
  • Poland-The "Golden Age" of the Sixteenth Century
  • Poland-ECONOMY
  • Poland-Welfare Benefits
  • Poland-Beer-Lovers' Party
  • Poland-Other Churches
  • Poland-Domestic Arms Production
  • Poland-National Revival
  • Poland-Solidarity
  • Poland-Internal Security
  • Poland-The Interwar Years
  • Poland-Southern Neighbors and the Visegrád Triangle
  • Poland
  • Poland-Germany
  • Poland-Collapse of the Communist Regime
  • Poland-Germans
  • Poland-Economic Policy Making in the 1990s
  • Poland
  • Poland-The Prosecutor General
  • Poland-Agricultural Resources
  • Poland-From Stalinism to the Polish October
  • Poland-New Financial Institutions
  • Poland
  • Poland-Oil and Gas
  • Poland-The Communist Era
  • Poland-Destruction of Poland-Lithuania
  • Poland-The Bielecki Government
  • Poland
  • Poland-The Constitution of 1952
  • Poland-PREFACE
  • Poland-Confederation for an Independent Poland
  • Poland-Marketization and Stabilization
  • Poland-The Polish Ecumenical Council
  • Poland-The Constitutional Tribunal
  • Poland-Decay of the Commonwealth
  • Poland-Strategy and Tactics
  • Poland-Penal System
  • Poland-Poland-Lithuania in the Reformation Era
  • Poland-From Medieval Times to World War I
  • Poland-Environmental Conditions and Crises
  • Poland-Housing after 1989
  • Poland-Topography
  • Poland-The Outbreak of War
  • Poland-Health Conditions
  • Poland-Postcommunist Restructuring
  • Poland-Other Western Countries
  • Poland-Popular Election of a President
  • Poland-The Birth of Solidarity
  • Poland-Reform Failure in the 1980s
  • Poland-The Government of Poland-Lithuania
  • Poland-POLAND
  • Poland-The State Tribunal
  • Poland-Agricultural Workers
  • Poland
  • Poland-Minerals and Fuels
  • Poland
  • Poland-Recruitment and Service Obligations
  • Poland
  • Poland-Territorial Defense Forces
  • Poland-The Early Opposition Press POLITICS AND THE MEDIA
  • Poland-Automotive Industry
  • Poland-Arms Procurement
  • Poland-The Military Prosecutor
  • Poland-The Elective Monarchy THE NOBLE REPUBLIC, 1572-1795
  • Poland-Council of Ministers
  • Poland
  • Poland-Liberalization in the 1980s
  • Poland-The Education Tradition
  • Poland-The Impact of Nationalism and Romanticism
  • Poland-The Greek Catholic Church
  • Poland
  • Poland-Resistance at Home and Abroad
  • Poland-Consolidation of Communist Power
  • Poland-Coal
  • Poland-The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession
  • Poland
  • Poland-Military Cooperation and Exchanges
  • Poland-Agriculture
  • Poland-The Later Piasts
  • Poland-The Round Table Agreement
  • Poland-Martial Law
  • Poland-Democratic Union
  • Poland-Relations in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Poland-Environmental Groups
  • Poland-Lower Courts
  • Poland-Development Strategy
  • Poland-The Military and Society
  • Poland
  • Poland
  • Poland-Private and State Farms
  • Poland-Security Service
  • Poland-Ground Forces
  • Poland-Military Budget
  • Poland
  • Poland-The Polish Catholic Church and the State
  • Poland-The Origins of Poland
  • Poland-Extractive and Manufacturing Industries
  • Poland
  • Poland-The Eastern Regions of the Realm
  • Poland-The Deluge, 1648-67
  • Poland-The Supreme Administrative Court
  • BackgroundPoland is an ancient nation that was conceived near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, but Poland still faces the lingering challenges of high unemployment, underdeveloped and dilapidated infrastructure, and a poor rural underclass. Solidarity suffered a major defeat in the 2001 parliamentary elections when it failed to elect a single deputy to the lower house of Parliament, and the new leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union subsequently pledged to reduce the Trade Union's political role. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.
    LocationCentral Europe, east of Germany
    Area(sq km)total: 312,685 sq km
    land: 304,255 sq km
    water: 8,430 sq km
    Geographic coordinates52 00 N, 20 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)total: 3,047 km
    border countries: Belarus 605 km, Czech Republic 615 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Slovakia 420 km, Ukraine 428 km

    Coastline(km)440 km

    Climatetemperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: near Raczki Elblaskie -2 m
    highest point: Rysy 2,499 m
    Natural resourcescoal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land
    Land use(%)arable land: 40.25%
    permanent crops: 1%
    other: 58.75% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)1,000 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)63.1 cu km (2005)
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 11.73 cu km/yr (13%/79%/8%)
    per capita: 304 cu m/yr (2002)
    Natural hazardsflooding
    Environment - current issuessituation has improved since 1989 due to decline in heavy industry and increased environmental concern by post-Communist governments; air pollution nonetheless remains serious because of sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the resulting acid rain has caused forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is also a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes; pollution levels should continue to decrease as industrial establishments bring their facilities up to EU code, but at substantial cost to business and the government
    Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
    Geography - notehistorically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain
    Population38,482,919 (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 15% (male 2,964,995/female 2,802,278)
    15-64 years: 71.6% (male 13,713,078/female 13,845,251)
    65 years and over: 13.4% (male 1,966,406/female 3,190,911) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 37.9 years
    male: 36.1 years
    female: 39.7 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)-0.047% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)10.04 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)10.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 61% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 6.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 7.52 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 6.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 75.63 years
    male: 71.65 years
    female: 79.85 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.28 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Pole(s)
    adjective: Polish
    Ethnic groups(%)Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7% (2002 census)

    Religions(%)Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3% (2002)
    Languages(%)Polish 97.8%, other and unspecified 2.2% (2002 census)

    Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Poland
    conventional short form: Poland
    local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
    local short form: Polska
    Government typerepublic
    Capitalname: Warsaw
    geographic coordinates: 52 15 N, 21 00 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    Administrative divisions16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie (Lower Silesia), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (Kuyavia-Pomerania), Lodzkie, Lubelskie (Lublin), Lubuskie (Lubusz), Malopolskie (Lesser Poland), Mazowieckie (Masovia), Opolskie, Podkarpackie (Subcarpathia), Podlaskie, Pomorskie (Pomerania), Slaskie (Silesia), Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie (Warmia-Masuria), Wielkopolskie (Greater Poland), Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomerania)
    Constitutionadopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 25 May 1997; effective 17 October 1997

    Legal systembased on a mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover Communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts, but rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final; court decisions can be appealed to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief of state: President Lech KACZYNSKI (since 23 December 2005)
    head of government: Prime Minister Donald TUSK (since 16 November 2007); Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar PAWLAK (since 16 November 2007)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the prime minister and the Sejm; the prime minister proposes, the president appoints, and the Sejm approves the Council of Ministers
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 9 and 23 October 2005 (next to be held in the fall 2010); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm
    election results: Lech KACZYNSKI elected president; percent of popular vote - Lech KACZYNSKI 54%, Donald Tusk 46%

    Legislative branchbicameral legislature consists of an upper house, the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms), and a lower house, the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms); the designation of National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the two houses meet jointly
    elections: Senate - last held 21 October 2007 (next to be held by October 2011); Sejm elections last held 21 October 2007 (next to be held by October 2011)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PO 60, PiS 39, independents 1; Sejm - percent of vote by party - PO 41.5%, PiS 32.1%, LiD 13.2%, PSL 8.9%, other 4.3%; seats by party - PO 209, PiS 166, LiD 53, PSL 31, German minorities 1; note - seats by parliamentary grouping as of December 2009 - PO 206, PiS 154, Left 43, PSL 31, SDPL 4, Polska Plus 9, DKP SD 3, German minorities 1, nonaffiliated 9
    note: one seat is assigned to ethnic minority parties in the Sejm only

    Judicial branchSupreme Court (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period); Constitutional Tribunal (judges are chosen by the Sejm for nine-year terms)

    Political pressure groups and leadersAll Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union) [Jan GUZ]; Roman Catholic Church [Cardinal Stanislaw DZIWISZ, Archbishop Jozef MICHALIK]; Solidarity Trade Union [Janusz SNIADEK]
    International organization participationArctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white

    Economy - overviewPoland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and today stands out as a success story among transition economies. In 2008, GDP grew an estimated 4.8%, based on rising private consumption, a jump in corporate investment, and EU funds inflows. GDP per capita is still much below the EU average, but is similar to that of the three Baltic states. Since 2004, EU membership and access to EU structural funds have provided a major boost to the economy. Unemployment is falling rapidly, though at roughly 9.7% in 2008, it remains above the EU average. In 2008 inflation reached 4.3%, more than the upper limit of the National Bank of Poland's target range, but has been falling due to global economic slowdown. Poland's economic performance could improve further if the country addresses some of the remaining deficiencies in its business environment. An inefficient commercial court system, a rigid labor code, bureaucratic red tape, and persistent low-level corruption keep the private sector from performing up to its full potential. Rising demands to fund health care, education, and the state pension system present a challenge to the Polish Government's effort to hold the consolidated public sector budget deficit under 3.0% of GDP, a target which was achieved in 2007-08. The PO/PSL coalition government which came to power in November 2007 plans to further reduce the budget deficit with the aim of eventually adopting the euro by 2012. The new government has also announced its intention to enact business-friendly reforms, reduce public sector spending growth, lower taxes, and accelerate privatization. The government, however, has moved slowly on major reforms. Pension and health-care bills passed through the legislature, but the legislature failed to overturn a presidential veto.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$670.7 billion (2008 est.)
    $638.8 billion (2007 est.)
    $598.1 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$527.9 billion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)5% (2008 est.)
    6.8% (2007 est.)
    6.2% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$17,400 (2008 est.)
    $16,600 (2007 est.)
    $15,500 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 4.5%
    industry: 31.2%
    services: 64.3% (2008 est.)
    Labor force17.01 million (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 17.4%
    industry: 29.2%
    services: 53.4% (2005)
    Unemployment rate(%)9.8% (2008 est.)
    12.8% (2007 est.)
    Population below poverty line(%)17% (2003 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 3%
    highest 10%: 27.2% (2005)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index34.9 (2005)
    31.6 (1998)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)22% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $105.5 billion
    expenditures: $115.7 billion (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)4.2% (2008 est.)
    2.5% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$118.2 billion (31 December 2008)
    $137.4 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$109 billion (31 December 2008)
    $93.98 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$258.3 billion (31 December 2008)
    $223.2 billion (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$90.23 billion (31 December 2008)
    $207.3 billion (31 December 2007)
    $149.1 billion (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$1.524 billion in available EU structural adjustment and cohesion funds (2004)

    Public debt(% of GDP)45.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
    49.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productspotatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy
    Industriesmachine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

    Industrial production growth rate(%)4.8% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance-$26.91 billion (2008 est.)
    -$20.12 billion (2007 est.)
    Exports$178.4 billion (2008 est.)
    $145.3 billion (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6% (2003)
    Exports - partners(%)Germany 24.9%, France 6.2%, Italy 6%, UK 5.7%, Czech Republic 5.6%, Russia 5.3% (2008)
    Imports$204.4 billion (2008 est.)
    $162.4 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 14.8%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9.1% (2003)
    Imports - partners(%)Germany 28.3%, Russia 9.9%, Italy 6.2%, Netherlands 5.4%, France 4.8%, China 4.5%, Czech Republic 4% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$62.18 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $65.75 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$243.5 billion (31 December 2008)
    $233.1 billion (31 December 2007)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$161.4 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $176.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$21.81 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $19.39 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Exchange rateszlotych (PLN) per US dollar - 2.3 (2008 est.), 2.81 (2007), 3.1032 (2006), 3.2355 (2005), 3.6576 (2004)
    note: zlotych is the plural form of zloty

    Currency (code)zloty (PLN)

    Telephones - main lines in use10.336 million (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular44.004 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral assessment: modernization of the telecommunications network has accelerated with market based competition finalized in 2003; fixed-line service, dominated by the former state-owned company, is dwarfed by the growth in wireless telephony
    domestic: mobile-cellular service available since 1993 and provided by three nation-wide networks with a fourth provider beginning operations in late 2006; cellular coverage is generally good with some gaps in the east; fixed-line service is growing slowly and still lags in rural areas
    international: country code - 48; international direct dialing with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 with access to Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik (2007)
    Internet country code.pl
    Internet users18.679 million (2008)
    Airports125 (2009)
    Pipelines(km)gas 13,631 km; oil 1,384 km; refined products 777 km (2008)
    Roadways(km)total: 423,997 km
    paved: 295,356 km (includes 662 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 128,641 km (2006)

    Ports and terminalsGdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie, Szczecin
    Military branchesPolish Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Aviation Forces, Special Forces (2008)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)18-28 years of age for male voluntary or compulsory military service; service obligation shortened from 12 to 9 months in 2005; conscription is to end in 2012; only soldiers who have completed their conscript service are allowed to volunteer for professional service; as of April 2004, women are only allowed to serve as officers and noncommissioned officers; reserve obligation to age 50 (2009)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 9,741,508
    females age 16-49: 9,514,843 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 7,898,892
    females age 16-49: 7,888,035 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 246,667
    female: 235,698 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.71% of GDP (2005 est.)
    Disputes - internationalas a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its eastern borders with Belarus and Ukraine

    Electricity - production(kWh)149.1 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 98.1%
    hydro: 1.5%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0.4% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)129.3 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)9.703 billion kWh (2008)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)8.48 billion kWh (2008 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)35,560 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)544,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)67,340 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)595,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)96.38 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)5.719 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)16.55 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)39 million cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)164.8 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS20,000 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 200 (2007 est.)
    Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.8%
    male: 99.8%
    female: 99.7% (2003 est.)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2006)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)5.5% of GDP (2005)

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